Who has been watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution? LOVE LOVE LOVE that show! He brings to light so many facts that stay under the radar of conversation too often. For instance, did you know that this generation of children is the first to have a shorter life expectancy than that of their parents? And that’s largely due to diet related disease. As parents, we shouldn’t feel hopeless about this, though. Instead, our Mama and Papa Bear instincts should kick into full gear to protect our sweet babies from something so preventable.
It has me thinking a lot lately about childhood obesity and how to prevent that in my own children. It can be a pretty daunting thing to think about, leaving a parent to feel a bit out of control when it comes to their children’s diet. That might seem counterintuitive (us being the grown-ups and all), but it’s true. With all of the unhealthy food thrown at children, their own free will, and the craziness of life, a parent can feel a bit hopeless about their kids’ diets.
I am far from perfect when it comes to the difference between my intentions for my kids’ diets and what actually ends up in their tummies. I’ve been thinking about some of the ways in which I’ve been slipping in my quest to healthfully shape my kids’ outlook on food. And it made me wonder if maybe some of you felt the same. I bet you do, because you love your kids, too, and you want what’s best for them. But perhaps you were never imparted with a healthy outlook on food, either, so you don’t really even know where to begin to give your kids one.
Well, I’m not going to give you a big, long list of things to do and tell you to totally overhaul your pantry (because you’ll be overwhelmed and won’t even want to do it), but I am going to ask you to do just one thing. This is simple.
Choose one thing this week that you know your kids aren’t benefitting from nutritionally and change it. Just one thing! Then next week, if there’s more to change, then change one more thing, and so on.
This is what I’m going to change. Instead of buying the giganto-size box of those cheesy little crackers that my kids can eat by the pound, I’m going to buy dried fruit.
Some other examples of things you might try are:
- exchanging a junky snack for a healthy one (like I plan on doing this week)
- taking a walk after dinner instead of watching TV
- using activities as a reward for good behavior instead of food
- instead of going to the fast food place as a break, take your kids to the farmers market or health food store and let each kid pick out their own veggie or fruit to buy (We did this this week, and my kids loved it!)
- saying, “No.” 🙂